Title

Building a court playhouse for a child witness: A study on whether the protective measures of the rules on examination of a child witness violate the confrontation rights of the accused

Date of Publication

2013

Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Legal Management

Subject Categories

Commercial Law

College

Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business

Department/Unit

Commercial Law

Thesis Adviser

Edward P. Chico

Defense Panel Chair

James Keith C. Heffron

Defense Panel Member

Marissa M. Buenagua
Ryan Jeremiah D. Quan

Abstract/Summary

Child sexual abuse is a matter of public interest. The Philippine Constitution and other statutes enjoin the State a parens patrae duty to safeguarde the holistic development of young members of the society. Under Philippines laws, child abuse refers to an infliction of physical or psychological injury, cruelty to, or sexual abuse or exploitation of a child. By the 1980s, the society finally acknowledge the alarming problem of sexual abuse of children. Almost all countries became united through a convention to save vulnerable children from abuse and exploitation and take consideration their best interest.

In the prosecution of sexual abuse cases involving children, the court raised the problem of the very mature system of trial procedure. The painful process of a face-to-face confrontation and cross-examination during trial vehemently aggravated the trauma already present to the child. As a result, child victims of sexual abuse often appeared as incompetent and unreliable witnesses in court. Considering the paramount interest of children, the Philippines formulated the Rule of Examination of a Child Witness (RECW) to address the problem of child witness from testifying in court by maintaining an environment to minimize the trauma to children and allow them to give reliable and complete testimonial evidences. However, the attempt to allow child witnesses to testify through the use of alternative examination procedures of the RECW such as the live-link circuit television and videotaped arguably infringes the constitutional rights of the accused to have a confrontation with his or her accuser.

This thesis aims to examine the issue of the apparent legal conflict between the substantial and procedural rights of the child acting as witness at trial and the constitutional rights of the accused to have a due process in court. The thesis attempts to give light on how the court was able to reconcile the right of the accused to a confrontation with the application of the alternative examination procedures provided under the RECW. Furthermore, the thesis aims to justify the constitutionality of the procedures of the RECW in dealing with cases of sexually abused children. Considering that the RECW is a new rule and still in its formative phase, the thesis is constrained to use American case decision which set precedence to the use of alternative procedures for child witnesses. Towards the end of the paper, the evaluation in examining child witnesses will compliment the constitutional justification of such procedures under the RECW.

Abstract Format

html

Language

English

Format

Print

Accession Number

TU18633

Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

104 leaves

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